First impressions count. Want to gain customers who have the potential to be loyal shoppers for the next few decades? Spend some time courting tots—and their parents. By creating an inviting environment for your youngest customers and carrying inventory that will satisfy both children and their parents, you’ll establish your store as a dancewear destination long before that little one masters her first pirouette. This issue is devoted to helping you forge those lifelong relationships.
Read “Attention, Small Shoppers!” (page 30) for expert advice on how to create kids’ apparel and shoe displays that will enchant patrons and drive sales. Then, turn to “Little Ones in the Limelight” (page 18) and “Tiny Toes” (page 16) for a roundup of manufacturers’ latest apparel and footwear for those young-but-discerning customers. Finally, don’t forget to check out “Togs for Tots” (page 38) for insights from teachers on what they want to see their youngest students wearing in class.
Of course, you don’t just have to appeal to tots. Consider the clothing you and your employees wear in the store. What kind of messages are you sending? “Look the Part” (page 22) discusses all the benefits of instituting an employee dress code or giving your staff a uniform—from making it easier for customers to find employees on busy days in the store, to reinforcing shoppers’ belief in your expertise. There are also tips on how to select a look for your employees that’s functional, fashionable, practical and professional.
*In this month’s Retailer Spotlight (page 26), we visit The Dancer’s Hut in Morrison, IL. Karla Green and Tyler Smith (a mother-and-son team) run the store, along with a custom T-shirt business and a tanning salon. Find out how they make it all work!